I really relish Oriental/ Pan Asian food and in the area where I live there is a serious dearth of restaurants/QSRs serving this cuisine. So naturally, when Go Panda, a QSR serving Oriental fare opened on the Lokhandwala bridge, I was delighted.
We trooped in on weekday night for dinner. As expected, the place was simple, a few tables and chairs outside, and a couple of high chairs and a bar style seating inside. What struck me was the glass facade to the kitchen, which allows you to peek inside. Scrupulously clean kitchen and well dressed staff handling food in a hygienic manner. I was thrilled.
To my utter delight, Nikhil, one of the founder Directors informed me that the food did not contain any MSG. I was relieved beyond words as am severely allergic to it and absolutely abhor places which use it.
Chicken steamed momos and chicken Phathimlai, were the starters we settled for and good ol’ Man chow soup. We were in for a pleasant surprise. The soup was delicious. Not the usual Man chow with oodles of vinegar and left-over chicken mince. The flavours were well balanced and it was tangy but not tart. Soulful. The momos had a delicate covering but again not the usual sticky ones. The filling too was generous and tasty.Full marks. The Phathimlai appeared a a bit salty, initially, because of the sauces but was palate-tickling alright. The chicken pieces were succulent and swathed in the spicy sauces. Absolutely loved it.
The food comes in attractive boxes. I love this as it enables you to eat on the go too and is hygienic too. Glad this trend is catching on in India.
“We thought this is the right time to launch something like Go Panda and our vision is to be the best Pan Asian cuisine quick service restaurant. We aim at providing our customers a smart, easy—to-follow menu, consistent quality, quick delivery and seeing every customer smile,” Sachet informed us.
Chilli Oyster Pot Rice- Chicken and Honeyed Chilli chicken Pot rice was what Sachet, the other Director recommended and we went along. These could not have been better selections. The earthen pots in which these are served are appealing and enable the food to remain warm longer. We could not put our forks down. The honeyed chilli chicken was crisp and had a delectable sweet spicy taste. It complimented the rice perfectly. The chilli oyster sauce was made in house and was lip-smacking with robust flavours. It enveloped our palate completely and left us craving for more.
The portions are generous and value-for-money. The ingredients appear to be of high quality and fresh.
Since they have just opened, their desserts section was not available and the Panda cooler(drink) too was not on offer yet. What caught my eye on the menu are the loaded sandwiches section. Sloppy Joe with Lamb, Grilled chicken with Ham n cheese sounded exciting. Got to try those soon. what’s more they have Panda combos too and affordably priced at that.
The menu offers chicken, lamb, sea food and vegetarian fare. Burmese Khow Suey and Malaysian Korma with rice are two fairly uncommon inclusions, on their menu as part of their signature meals. Next on my list.
Go Panda is definitely worth trying out. It is bound to become a habit for Pan Asian food lovers like me. The luscious flavours are already beckoning me. Tonight maybe?